Bluetooth #Skimmers Strike in Mexico
Cancun is a popular destination for tourists—and fraudsters. A recent investigation into the Mexican hot spot revealed fraudsters are stealing millions of dollars from tourists by rigging ATMs with advanced data-stealing hardware.
By fitting 19 separate cash machines with Bluetooth technology, fraudsters were able to steal ATM information via skimming. Most skimming devices are detectable because they are designed as fixtures on the outside of a machine. However, the recent Bluetooth technology proves more difficult to detect, as it is fixed within machines and tied directly to the debit card readers and ATM pads.
To gain access to the inside of the ATMs, the fraudsters are bribing poorly paid technicians. The fraudsters then hide tiny devices inside the card slots and PIN pads that steal card data and store it on special Bluetooth devices, which have also been installed inside the cash machines. Cyber thieves use their phones to connect to these devices – which can hold the data of around 32,000 people – and use the stolen information to empty their victims’ bank accounts.
Targeted ATMs were not bank-owned or operated— all were freestanding machines owned by private companies. In many instances, when compromised ATMs were utilized to make withdrawals, the machines canceled the transactions without explanation, resulting in the cardholder attempting the transaction elsewhere. This means the cardholder’s financial institution (FI) would have no record of the cardholder using the ATM.
WHAT IT MEANS:
Community FIs should educate cardholders on the dangers of ATM skimming, particularly in Mexico. Encourage cardholders to do a simple check on their phones to determine if a Bluetooth signal is being emitted from an ATM prior to using the machine. In most instances in Mexico, the signal will be named “Free2Move.” If cardholders see this signal show up on their phones’ Bluetooth screens, they should not use those particular ATMs.
NCUA Lists Online Financial Help Resources for Seniors (05-16-2016)
The National Credit Union Administration is reminding older Americans about the agency’s online resources to help them manage money and protect themselves against fraud.
“Consumer protection and financial education are key parts of NCUA’s mission and part of the credit union model, as well,” NCUA Board Chairman Rick Metsger said. “Giving credit union members, particularly older Americans, the educational tools and security information to help them manage and protect their money is increasingly important, and I hope credit unions and their members will take advantage of the resources we offer.”
May is Older Americans Month, and NCUA’s Pocket Cents financial literacy website includes an entire section on issues of particular interest to older Americans. The MyCreditUnion.gov website contains tips on handling personal finances and protecting against frauds and scams aimed at older adults. NCUA also has a video explaining how certain financial scams specifically target older Americans and how to avoid being victimized. The agency’s Consumer Assistance Center is available to answer questions or handle complaints.
In September 2014, NCUA signed a memorandum of understanding with AARP to work on a series of initiatives aimed at promoting education and outreach to help older Americans become more financially secure. Those efforts have included:
- Launching the agency’s online Fraud Prevention Center, and incorporating AARP’s Fraud Watch Network as a resource;
- Co-hosting a Twitter chat on detecting and preventing financial abuse; and
- Co-hosting a webinar on avoiding frauds and scams.
Under the Federal Credit Union Act, promoting financial literacy is a core credit union mission. While credit unions serve the needs of their members and promote financial literacy within the communities they serve, NCUA works to reinforce credit union efforts, raise consumer awareness and increase access to credit union services. NCUA also participates in national financial literacy initiatives, including the Financial Literacy and Education Commission, an interagency group created by Congress to improve the nation’s financial literacy and education.
Fraudulent Text Messages (03-13-2015)
Please be aware that some people may have received a bogus text concerning their Discover card. This is not a legitimate text from FivePoint or Discover debit. Do not click on the link or provide any information to the source. An example of one of these messages is below. If you have already shared your information or experienced problems with this, please call 800.825.8829 for assistance.
Card Cracking (01-08-2015)
The credit union has become aware of a fraudulent scheme that has targeted some of our members. This scheme, called Card Cracking, is a very real problem and is on the rise in our area. Card Cracking happens when you allow someone else to deposit checks into your account. Most often, they will ask that the checks be deposited through remote deposit or ATM. The deposited checks are bogus and before the credit union knows they are bad, the other party has withdrawn the money from your account. The scammers will often promise to "pay" you for the use of your account. The check is counterfeit and, when it is returned, you will be liable for repaying your financial institution for the money that was withdrawn.
Please, NEVER give your debit card information or account information to a stranger. Always be cautious of who you are giving your banking information to. If you have questions about your account, please let us know.